Pop-culture icon and lesbian role-model Frida Kahlo was an international painter known for her (yes, it's a her) ability to illustrate mustaches and unibrows in disturbingly accurate detail. Frida's life wasn't an easy one, but she made the most of it. One of the most recognized artists of all time, her art, like her facial hair, is complex, fascinating and inspiring. This is her story.
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The Early Years
Frida 'Caliente' Kahlo was born July 6, 1907 near Mexico City. She was a tomboy at school (not in any way related to the fact that she already had full facial hair at age six) and the leader of a group of rebellious, mostly male youngsters who became known for pulling tons of pranks and practical jokes.
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In 1925, when Kahlo was 18, she contracted Polio and had to spend nine months confined to her bed. Just towards the end of that time the ambulance she was riding in collided with a streetcar. Her injuries included a broken spinal column, collarbone, ribs, pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. Additionally, an iron handrail impaled her abdomen, piercing her uterus, and thus rendering her incapable of reproduction. Then her right leg had to be amputated below the knee due to a gangrene infection. But the illness and accident and impalement and infertility and amputation only made Frida more determined than ever to live life to the fullest, and it was during her long recovery from these events that Kahlo discovered her love of painting. This was however, after failure at trying javelin, horseback riding, sculpting, archery, uncyclopedia editing and stamp collecting.
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After her recovery, Frida started hanging out with a group of Mexican artists who introduced her to well-known Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera. Although disgusted by her facial hair, Rivera immediately recognized her talent and encouraged her to continue painting. In August of 1929 Rivera and Kahlo were wed, and even though they both had many extramarital affairs, close friends of the couple would often describe their relationship as 'picturesque' and, 'very butch'.
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Peeps from all over the world loved Kahlo and her art. During her life she had three exhibitions - one in New York in 1938, one in Paris in 1939, and the last one in Mexico City in 1953 where a nubile Frida bounded around, frolicking amongst her many adoring fans. Although she was happy, by that time Frida was senile.
On July 13, 1954, at the age of 47, Frida Kahlo died. Even though at the time no one ever officially declared the cause, officials suspected it was death by laughter. Frida had led such a long, happy life, and the last entry in Kahlo's diary read, "I hope (that dying) is as joyful and hilarious as my big-screen debut."